Song’s Position In Question – written by RockyLives

What’s wrong with Alex Song?

Last year he was well on the way to becoming the Premier League’s best defensive midfielder. After some false starts he seemed finally to have perfected his game: pick up the ball from the centre backs; move it on quickly to the more progressive-minded midfielders; always be available to receive and pass when we need to keep the ball; break up the opposition’s attacks when we lose it. For a period last year he was doing that job brilliantly.

Now, suddenly, he’s playing a totally different game.

I lost count of the amount of times he was our most advanced attacking player on Tuesday night. And when he wasn’t furthest forward he was bursting into the opposition penalty area time and again to break up our best attacking moves.

It was as if his head was possessed by the ghost of Thierry Henry, his feet by the spirit of Willie Young. Perhaps the soul takeover happened at the same time he got his Norman Beaton haircut.

Imagine if Andrei Arshavin started a game in the left forward position, but spent most of the 90 minutes covering right back. That’s the equivalent of what Song was doing.

The question is why?

It can’t really have been down to sheer stupidity, because it’s a pattern we have seen in the last few games. If Arsene Wenger and Pat Rice disapproved they would surely have given him a good slap round the back of the Colney bike sheds by now.

Instead his forward movement was so pronounced in this game that he must have been instructed to play this way, which is really worrying. When you finally get a player to fulfil perfectly the role for which his footballing gifts suit him, why would you switch him out to do something he’s less skilled at?

Don’t get me wrong. I think Song is a great player. But he’s a great defensive midfielder, not a great attacking midfielder. He does not have the touch, control or eye for a quick killer pass that is essential for the position he was playing in on Tuesday night. That’s a job best done by the likes of Fabregas, Nasri, Arshavin, Rosicky and Wilshere. Yet I would bet that on average across the game he was more advanced than either Wilshere or Rosicky. Hell, there were even times when Chamakh had dropped deep to pick up the ball and Song was our centre forward.

I know Denilson was playing a holding position which theoretically gave Song the freedom to roam, but if that’s the case there’s no need for Song at all – let’s have a more skilful midfielder in there instead. Against Belgrade Song was generally the reason our attacking moves broke down. His misplaced passes around the edge of the Belgrade box became too many to count and when he got inside the box his less-than-refined close control did the same.

He still managed to carry out his midfield defensive duties to some degree and I’m not going to criticise him for leaving holes because, on the night, Belgrade were offering very little in attack.

I’m more concerned with his cack-handed contribution to our attacking moves. We have the best attacking midfield options of any team in the Premiership – and Song is not one of them.

Come on Arsene, you must know the saying about square pegs and round holes. If you had a bottle of premier cru claret you wouldn’t put it in the fridge (unlike Owen Coyle http://www.dailymail.co.uk/sport/article-1315023/Des-Kelly-Arsene-Wenger-needs-cup–glass-wine.html). So don’t put your best defensive holding player in the position that belongs to an attacking midfielder.

RockyLives

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83 Responses to Song’s Position In Question – written by RockyLives

  1. tommystout says:

    couldnt agree with you more Rocky,
    i’m sure as you say it is under instruction… though i bet he wont be doing this on sunday, that would be suicide.
    I like song, and i like him more just in front of the back 4.

  2. femilovechild says:

    Exactly the same thing I’ve noticed this season with Song. From day one he’s been getting way too forward for my liking, leaving the back four exposed and not giving the attacking midfielders the freedom to roam. If he does the same thing against Chelsea on Sunday its game over.

  3. tommystout says:

    any news on fabregas?
    my guess is that he will be short for sunday, which would make sense with LJW’s substitution Tuesday.
    fab2
    sagna, squilly, kozzer, gibbs
    song
    LJW Nasri
    Thomas, Chamach, AA
    if fab1 is fit then thomas drops out.

  4. Ben Smith says:

    Don’t you think this is a massive over reaction to 1, possibly 2 games? Song did seem to be getting forward a bit more in the Partizan game but equally Denilson was sitting a lot deeper. It’s fair to say that Song is better as a destructive midfielder but I thought he was still putting the leg work in and doing that side of the game too. He probably needs to work on his attacking play to keep up his development but I really wouldn’t say that he was caught wildly out of position on Tuesday night so let’s not make a big deal out of it.

    It strikes me that a significant section of the Arsenal blogging community just want to manufacture new things to to write about. The Goalkeeping situation has been done to death so put that on the back burner until January and move on to another area of the team to criticise, even if it is unfounded. It’s ok to wait and see how a situation pans out before jumping to conclusions and suggesting Song’s position is all of a sudden in question.

  5. anthony says:

    I have to disagree against west brom arsenal was pressed out of the game with the formation we used last season and the tendency for the play to start from the left side whether that be from nasri coming deep of koschieny or clichy initiating the attack someone had to find space left by nasri or double up on their dmf

  6. Morning all

    I agree totally with you Rocky – something has changed and if it was by Song’s own decision making then I would hope that by now he would have been told to stop or to at least choose his attacking moments carefully.

  7. Rasp says:

    Morning Ben and welcome,

    We have been discussing Song’s postitoning on here for a few weeks now so the article was not manufactured to find something to write about, but a reflection of concerns that have already been voiced. If you read the comments on yesterday’s post, many related to Song’s role.

    When we have new personnel in the CB positions, it should stand to reason that the midfield should help protect them during the bedding in process.

  8. Axe says:

    Ben did you just woke up from coma? Song is making a nuisance of the team’s attack, interfering the attack.

  9. Ben Smith says:

    Rasp,

    Apologies for that although I’d still say it’s a bit premature to be worrying too much. If we get it into perspective, his apparanet decision/instruction to push up hasn’t caused us too many problems. The West Brom game wasn’t lost because he wasn’t back to help out and his forrays up the park on Tuesday didn’t cause us problems either.

    I still think he’s a good player and the only player of his type we have. I think either he or Wenger are just trying to expand his game and make him a more complete player that gets all over the pitch rather than one who just operates bewtween defence and midfield.

  10. Rasp says:

    Ben,

    I agree, Song is the only player of his type we have so it makes little sense to school him in a different role even if it is for his personal development. The needs of the team must come first.

    I think the fluidity of movement of the attacking midfielders is brilliant, but for them to have that freedom, we need a solid defensive unit and I consider Song to be a major part of that.

  11. MikE says:

    i noticed that too. trying to be a jack or a cesc or a nasri which he is not. should be told to do what he does best!

    and never cross the half-way line if there is an R in the month!

  12. yella says:

    ok we know he’s a good DM but you can’t stop improving your game. we need a team of midfielders that can do an all round game. So I’m sure Wenger is developing him into a better player. working on his attacking attributes. his forward incisive passing etc. because teams will mark arshvin and fabregas and wiltshire. so if you can have a DM with a bit of creativity/attacking prowess. it’s good. if you play football you’d relise this.

    Cheers

  13. 26may1989 says:

    Rocky, all agreed, it has become a bit of a concern in recent games, and clearly it is a deliberate choice to involve Song in the attacking third more often. And he did score that lovely goal against Bolton, so it’s not all negative. But a team with its focus as much on attack as ours needs its destroyers more than anyone.

    We have others in the squad who can fill the DM role but Song is the only senior player who knows the role and fulfils it consistently. So to see him so often venturing forward is worrying. We understand the strategy of interchanging positions, of constant movement on the pitch, as a means to create space to work with, and having Song pop up once in a while in a position that might not be expected has its merit, but the risks of having Song go forward too often seem too great.

    I certainly hope Song has a game of real discipline on Sunday – if he and the rest of the defensive unit do that, we have a chance.

    My predicted team for Sunday:

    Fabianski
    Sagna, Squillaci, Koscielny, Gibbs
    Song, Denilson
    Nasri, Wilshere, Arshavin
    Chamakh
    Subs: Szczesny, Fabregas, Clichy, Djourou, Diaby, Eboue, Vela

    (And if Cesc isn’t ready, then JET on the bench.)

  14. Song made some comments a few weeks back about “Adding goals to his game”. I think this is where all his forward thinking is coming from. We aren’t playing 4-1-4-1 anymore, I think that was a little too open to counter, it’s 4-2-3-1.

    With 2 in front of the back 4 Song is roaming a little more, but i’d rather see Denilson do that, atleast he has a shot in him!

    Too many times over the last few games there has been a MASSIVE gap between midfield and defence, because Song has steamed forward and lost the ball.

    Can you imagine the likes of Essien and Lampard in that space? Certainly something for Wenger to think about.

  15. Bishop says:

    Spot on rocky! The role he played on Tuesday was very destruptive to our attacking play. I think if Arsene wants to use a box to box midfielder, Lansbury will be the most ideal in our current set up. Denilson is too lazy and Song is too slow. Arsene will need to sort this out against Chelsea, revert to Song playing the holding role, with Wilshere, Nasri, Arshavin and hopefully Fabregas in Midfield.

  16. DPT says:

    Maybe he was asked to push up, therefore breaking up partizans attacks further up the pitch to enable us to put them under more pressure! They didn’t have much to offer attacking wise if you ask me……….just a thought, but his foward passing was shockingly poor!

  17. Joe71 says:

    I agree with Ben we have enough attackers and less defensive type midfielders so why is Song going forward too much ? I understand Vieira and Gilberto used to chip in with goals, but Gilberto’s first priority was to defend. I suppose at the same time this new role will take time getting used to as everything else, but lets ditch the box to box effort for now because we do not always defend well as a team and need to concentrate a bit in that department. Even if Cesc is absent we have Nasri, Wilshere, Diaby, Rosicky to do that as they are natural attackers, and can defend a little.

  18. Mbiriyawaka says:

    I totally agree with Joooshh! denilson is more suited to the role being adopted by Song, we are assured of more protection with Song sitting back and Denilson roaming until we have the full contingent of the attacking midfiled players back on the team sheet.

  19. brian says:

    Totally agree with you.I tend to think that he was encouraged to get forward more in certain situations and in certain games but has mis-interpreted this and got carried away particularly because he scored against Bolton.His passing was absoltely shocking in Belgrade and if gives the ball away as much against Chelsea and also gets too far forward then we will get a real hiding.It’s down to Wenger to get hold of him and really sort him out to ensure he only does what he is really good at.

  20. GD says:

    Hi,

    I fully agree.

    He will be a champion if he continues as a defensive midfielder.
    In my opinion, he is one of the players that has cost Arsenal at W.Bromich game. For me, he was floppy of the match at P.B. It is a big worry if he performs like that.

    Regarding Chelsea game, I prefer Almunia and Gibbs to Fab and Clichy. No need of Denlison and Eboye.

    Fine day!

  21. RGG says:

    Wenger encourages it no doubt. Obsessed with players interchanging in the ‘total football’ mode.
    Even when Wenger wants him to hold he doesn’t – I remember last season AW screaming at him from the touchine to stop recklessly careering forward. The guy has no discipline & doesn’t enjoy his defensive duty. You need a player who relishes breaking up the opposition’s attacks & then laying off to players who can do damage going forward.
    If we don’t show discipline against Chelsea we’ll lose. Our team is great with the ball but average without it.

  22. goonergerry says:

    To me Song has lost form and the main effect is in his timing- he is getting caught in possession and is misplacing passes and tackles compared to last year. This may be related to his knee injury last year and a poor world cup in which he was dropped by the Cameroon manager.Perhaps playing him further forward with a player behind reduces the negative impact on the team. Ideally he needs to be dropped for several weeks-but he is our only DM option.

  23. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Morning all,
    The worst thing that has happened so far this season was the sublime little dinked goal of Song’s. It showed he has a delicate touch, superb awareness of where both goalkeeper and goal are, with the guile and craft of a worldclass attacking midfielder.
    Absolutely none of the qualites we want from him!

  24. Rasp says:

    Hi goonergerry,

    That is a really good point. Apart from the spectacular goal he scored, Song has looked like the player of 3 years ago – ponderous, misplaced passes etc.

    I’m not sure if resting a player is the way to encourage him to regain form, but we ceratinly need him performing to his best if we are to have designs on the title.

  25. London says:

    Bang on Micky.

    I was beginning to lose hope but your comment reassures me that there is at least one other person on here who watches the same games as I do.

  26. MickyDidIt89 says:

    My greatest fear for Sunday comes down to AW’s team selection. I think if we see more than two of Den, Diaby, Eboue and Song then we have had it (I would play only one, either Den or Song). We absolutely have to out fottball that team of overweight lardies.

  27. Carlito11 says:

    Morning all,
    I have to say I can’t help but disagree Rocky- I think yella’s got it spot on. Song can do an attacking job at times- the key thing is that someone (Denilson on Tuesday) drops in to fill the gap and make the tackles. If we can’t be fluid and slightly unpredictable we won’t beat the better teams. I seem to remember Song scoring a Messi like goal earlier in the season albeit only against Bolton. The test will be chelski at the weekend and I predict that you’ll see a far more disciplined performance from Song who won’t be given this license by Wenger at Stamford Bridge…

  28. Carlito11 says:

    … basically keep the faith!

  29. Israel says:

    I think arsene should get another DM dat is above song in football e.g de jong ,melo or inler to competite with him,now dat cesc is injured ; imagine a midfield of melo-nasri-arshavin,with arshavin playing d cesc role.

  30. Jekyll says:

    We don’t need any more players working on their attacking attributes. Makelele never did. That is the sort we need in midfield and that is what we need Song to be. I think a team that struggles with the basics of defending anyway doesn’t need the further complication of rotating the DM position during a game.

  31. Red Arse says:

    Afternoon people,

    This may sound strange but all of you are right, in my opinion. How so?

    Well, among the blind the one eyed man is king. But the two eyed guy has better balance! :-)

    That’s the crux. Balance. Song is an excellent DM but on his day he can and does make game changing forays up field. His main position should be sitting in front of the back four, but he should be allowed to occasionally make a charge up field, this will keep the opposition on edge.

    As I alluded to in the first comment yesterday, responding to London’s write up, Song was losing possession far too often, and running in ever decreasing circles, doing his oomigoolie bird impression and in severe danger of disappearing up his own jacksie.

    The reason for this is that he has not yet got the balance of defending and attacking play quite right.

    You see, all of you are right! :-) He needs balance, that’s all.

  32. gnarleygeorge9 says:

    Rocky

    Its the hair, or should I say wool.

  33. Red Arse says:

    Sorry Rocky, I should have said that I enjoyed reading your article, and it is a timely one considering the importance of Sunday’s game. :-)

  34. Red Arse says:

    Gnarley, nice to see you, and straight back into the sheep jokes too. :-)

  35. kalebd63 says:

    I too, like many other gooners have noticed Song dancing to a new tune of late,I can only think that he is under instructins from Arsene to try to develop himself in the mould of Michael Essiene! I would much prefer him to sit in front of the back four and bet my bottom dollar the Arsene will not allow him to roam as freely when playing Chelski on Sunday???? then again you never know with Wenger!
    As with all of his decisions we have to prey that it is the correct one. Lets not forget that 2 seasons ago most gooners would not have dreamt that Song would become half as good a defensive midfielder as he is, because we do not have access to what some of these players are capable of in training and at some times (Fabianski)they are unable to replicate this on the football pitch, we are quick to dismiss their attributes.In the words of an incarserated gooner (You gotta have faith)

  36. SharkeySure says:

    Afternoon All, Ahoy Micky

    Very good article Rocky.

    As some/most of you already know I think Song is absolutely brilliant for us.

    Whilst I like to see him getting forward, I felt that he did it too much on Tues night. I felt he got forward a lot against West Brom on Sat as well, but feel that was him looking to carry the fight to the opposition which I can only commend him for.

    He’s clearly been told to push on for certain games, and will surely be told to stay behind the ball on Sunday. A lot of people seem to think that he’s solely a DM (whatever that is!), but clearly if has LJW or Denilson sat behind him, then he must push on a bit. Start of last season, we all lauded the ‘new approach’ based on pressing higher up the pitch. So now, from pressing in their half and winning the ball, he only has another 20-30yds til he’s in the opposition box, or should he pass the ball forward and then stand still..??

    Comments that question his technical ability are well wide of the mark imho. Set aside the goal vs Bolton and there are many more examples of his top class control and ball manipulation. Have some of you really not seen him regularly get off a very good pass, or wriggle out of the tightest of spots with his close control, strength and a bit of trickery..??

    Having said all of that, overall his standards HAVE dropped a little bit this season, but he is still vital to our chances of success this season, whether he’s mimicking Essien or Makalele.

    Oh and one last thing, can we please put to bed once and for all the complete mistruth that he is slow. Its oft repeated without any challenge or correction whatsoever …I just don’t understand that. He’s not as quick as Theo, I’ll grant you that !!

  37. Red Arse says:

    Sharkey,

    I don’t necessarily subscribe to the view that Song is slow, but if someone else did think so, why would this be a lie? Sorry, I should have used your diplomatic phrase “complete mistruth”.

    It’s all a question of opinion isn’t it? Or are you implying you are the arbiter of the correctness or otherwise of such matters, and does it matter?

    Just curious. :-)

  38. London says:

    Hi Sharkey

    If Geoff announced that people should put their heads in the oven, how many do you think would do it?

  39. tommystout says:

    i dont know if any of you guys have read this, but its the most comprehensive (but simple) review of arsenals finances that i ever did see.
    you’ll need a 15 minute tea break to take it all in one go!

    http://swissramble.blogspot.com/

  40. Red Arse says:

    Tommy,

    I read that earlier.

    It is easy to be critical of Edelman for doing deals that in retrospect may have cost Arsenal millions over a period of time, but needs must, and at the time we needed some financial clout to complete the outstanding business projects.

    The selling of the naming rights of the Emirates for 13 years, together with the shirt rights, now looks a grossly undervalued deal, in the light of subsequent contracts made by other premiership clubs. But 20 20 hindsight is not much use.

  41. tommystout says:

    well i agree Red, what would the world be like with hindsight.
    reading that article just makes me even more proud of who i support.

  42. Red Arse says:

    Spot on Tommy,

    And the financial and therefore sporting future looks absolutely brilliant. :-)

  43. SharkeySure says:

    Red….Fair do’s I stand corrected.

    Its my opinion not fact, and I should challenge the opinion of people who think he’s slow, by asking why they think that and then attempt to refute it.

    Apologies for a bit of a sh*t and run earlier, but I went out for lunch.

  44. SharkeySure says:

    London…I no longer concern myself with the ‘full stop dodging’ ramblings of *****, but I just tire of hearing that Song is slow stated as ‘fact’.

    Surely we’ve all seen him sprint at a decent pace..?? I know I have.

  45. Red Arse says:

    Sharkey,

    You are O.K. by me. Just pulling your leg. :-)

    Don’t know who/what you and London are referring to but it’s not worth letting it bother your enjoyment.

    On the other hand, expostulate away if you think you can influence who/what to change their opinion. :-)

    My experience is that there are none so deaf as those who do not wish to hear! :-)

  46. SharkeySure says:

    “none so deaf as those who do not wish to hear”

    Amen to that….

  47. Red Arse says:

    Actually, Sharkey,

    I have never even given a thought to Song’s speed or alleged slowness.

    For a big guy he seems to hustle when necessary, and although I have already commented on his recent dip in form, no one can complain about his commitment. That is important to me.

  48. rockylives says:

    Travelling today so can’t stop for long. but thanks to everyone who has commented on this piece. It is very much NOT an ant-Alex Song piece (I really rate him) but the majority view seems to be that people are not happy with the advanced positions he’s been taking up lately.
    The main counter argument (if I’m reading things correctly) happens to be quite a good one: namely that maybe he can be a box to box midfielder and it’s just that his form has been a bit off lately but when it returns he will contribute to our attacks instead of breaking them down.. I’m not sure I fully buy it, because it still leaves the problem of gaps in our midfield when our best defensive midfielder is out of position, but it’s a reasonable point.

  49. Red Arse says:

    Balance Rocky. That’s all that is needed.

    Song will defend in front of the back four and thensometimes launches an attack, provided Denilson covers for him. They will need to sort it out together.

    Works for me!

  50. Neamman says:

    I dont think Song is that slow, but he certainly is doing a lot of advanced play recently. I actually dont mind if he and Denilson are together. My team

    Almunia, Sagna, Koz, Squilli, Gibbs
    Song Denilson, cesc, AA TR
    Chamakh

    replace CESC with JW if injured

  51. SharkeySure says:

    ‘N’ ;-) You’d think he was Jan Molby the way some fans bemoan his so-called lack of pace.

    Rocky – I almost added that I neither agree or disagree to my firstrespnse earlier, cos it was such a well balanced piece, I couldn’t really understand why there seemed to be a polarisation between the ‘I agree’s and the ‘I disagree’s.

  52. Red Arse says:

    Not a bad team Neamman, but I would like to see Jack play.

    In fact, I am sure he will play, because I understand Cesc has not been called up to the Spanish squad because of his injury, and therefore, logically, will not play Sunday.

  53. Big Raddy says:

    Fine post Rocky.

    As has been said we have been discussing Song’s role for a few days.

    My take on it is very much the same as Red Arse’s.

    I believe Song has played in the advance role because AW wanted him to. If not we would have seen him stay back in the second half of the PB game, instead we saw him even further forward, therefore it was clearly a tactical move by AW . ….. The Defence Rests, assured of positive return from the Jury.

    When Cesc & Nasri play, Song will not play such an attacking role.

  54. SharkeySure says:

    Fair do’s to the Genius that is Arsene though…cos if anyone had told me that I’d see LJW playing deep CM this season I’d have laughed my head off.

    But he has been, and its been working …just ask any Spud

  55. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Os-da-su-hi-ye-i Chums,
    I have only “Ahoyed” once SharkeySure. Yesterday, I appropriately “Good Afternooned” in Serbian. Today’s, well I am not telling you, so put that in your peace pipe and smoke it.
    Neamman, no place for Nasri?

  56. MickyDidIt89 says:

    SharkeySure,
    Totally agree about JW. I would happily play him alongside either Song or Denilson as part of a defensive shield, or even in Cesc’s place. This is the genius of the guy. To my mind, he is considerably better than Cesc was at the same age. We are very fortunate to have him. Lets hope he can control the off field temptations, which I gather is not going too well!

  57. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Buggggggggggger, my gggggggggggg button is playingggggggggggg up.

  58. SharkeySure says:

    My wife’s half Cherokee Mickey….

  59. MickyDidIt89 says:

    SharkeySure,
    You wizard. Does this put an end to the nautical flavour?

  60. Big Raddy says:

    Rasp. Have you seen the funky new stats page. All the same info but very prettily presented.

    Or was it your work?

  61. Ryan says:

    He said last year in an interview that his friends tease him for not scoring. I think he’s trying to gloat to his buddies. But your right, how can Arsene allow it and not slap him on the wrist?!?

  62. barumgooner says:

    I apologise in advance if its already been said but the problem seems to me that he scored against Bolton and now seems to want to join the rest of the team having fun on the front line instead of tidying up at the back. I would guess that AW has instructed players to make up for Cesc not being there by being a bit more positive but its time we put Song back where he belongs

  63. :) where you been bg? We have had a few that reckon that the goal against Bolton has made him hunt for more glory – I agree with that premise but I don’t understand why he’s not been told that it’s not really his job.

    Someone summed it up very eloquently earlier today – I’ll see if I can find it ……

  64. barumgooner says:

    Although saying that we are still doing ok. A tough away point at TSOL was ok and then last week unfortunately the team thought they could win without even turning up. Hopefully WBA taught them ALL a valuable lesson. I am still very very confident in winning things this year and winning in style.

  65. Heres a comment from earlier in the day

    MickyDidIt89 says:
    September 30, 2010 at 11:18 am (Edit)

    Morning all,
    The worst thing that has happened so far this season was the sublime little dinked goal of Song’s. It showed he has a delicate touch, superb awareness of where both goalkeeper and goal are, with the guile and craft of a worldclass attacking midfielder.
    Absolutely none of the qualites we want from him!

  66. barumgooner says:

    Hello Peaches. I’ve got a new job with no access to the web so i tend to be coming on when the rest of you guys have left the building so to speak. The trouble is defending isnt really a word that mr Wenger likes to mention too often is it.

  67. barumgooner says:

    Very good to Micky. Spot on sir.

  68. barumgooner says:

    Can you really imagine Arsene telling a player to be less attacking ? It’d be a bit like Dracula asking mrs D for some kievs for tea !

    Gota put kids to bed now. Sometimes life just seems to get in the way of talking about Arsenal !!

  69. Sorry bg, I popped off to do something else too, hope someone comes on to chat to you this evening.

  70. Frothing Inarticulate Loon says:

    “SharkeySure, You wizard”

    No me old ship mate…credit goes to google !!

    “Does this put an end to the nautical flavour?”

    Sorry to say, but the answer’s probably no. I mentioned yesterday that I’m almost ten hours a day staring at spreadsheets and databases….how else can I have fun..??

    I’ll try to keep them to a minimum though, and even though I’m an Accountant, I will try to keep them humorous, let me know if I fail in either respect….

    Anyway, land ahoy….so its good night from me !! ;-)

  71. SharkeySure says:

    “SharkeySure, you wizard.”

    No mi old ship mate, all the credit goes to Google

    “Does this put an end to the nautical flavour?”

    Sorry to say, but thats a no. However, I will try to keep them to a minimum and to make them humorous. Let me know if I fail on either count.

  72. SharkeySure says:

    Busted !!!!

    RIP Frothing !!!

  73. blazer says:

    Hi All,

    Just need to hold chelski to a draw so defensive minded is more important against this weekends opposition.

  74. Rohan says:

    If we play a defensive game and park the bus, we’ll be done for. We’re not a very good defensive team, our strength is attacking and while we shouldn’t be gung-ho, we should go with a positive attitude but defend diligently and make sure that we don’t concede any early goals.
    I don’t mind cesc missing but the man I think we;ll miss the most is Robin van Persie..he hates the chavs with a passion, and he relishes these sorts of games. Also why don’t we ever play them with Cesc AND RvP. One or the other is always missing. The last time that happened, we won, in 08/09 at Stamford Bridge.

  75. MikeSA says:

    I think we are all guilty of passing snap judgements based on entrenched perceptions, way too little evidence or knowledge, and sometimes on one or two poor performances.

    As a matter of interest, Song was our most creative midfielder whilst playing for our reserves, and scored some absolute pearlers.

    Similarly to Cesc, where AW commented that as a junior Cesc scored plenty of goals and although during the step up to the senior team this had dried up, he expected it to return before long, I suspect it is a similar situation with Alex Song.

    Whoever claimed he has a poor first touch obviously hasn’t watched any games he’s played very carefully.

    Song has one of, if not the best first touch in the entire squad.

    Watch how many times he receives an absolute fizzer of a pass from close range and kills it stone dead right at his feet or touches it on just a smidgen but in the perfect direction to escape a close marker.

    As for his speed, well I don’t think he’s our sprint champion, but he certainly isn’t a slouch.

    His running style allows those who don’t think too far or analyse things very well to claim he is “slow”.

    I’m sorry, but that’s just a lazy perception, something that’s all too prevalent amongst our fans on a number of issues, not just this one.

    The whole team apart from Nasri were very poor against WBA.

    We need to stop this continual urge to slag off particular players and look for scapegoats, be it our keepers, a player perceived as being “lazy” or, in the opinion of the less inclined to do research or actually think about it, playing in a position or matter that escapes them as to it’s relevance or purpose.

    Players have off days, it happens.

    The manager also knows things about the players that many fans don’t have a clue about.

    Song will not have been doing what he’s doing because he’s “lazy”, or suddenly “got a big head”, or whatever other rubbish some gormless fan has dreamed up.

    Sometimes we have to accept that here are growth paths for players to settle in or adapt to specific roles the manger knows they are capable of.

    Sometimes it goes wrong, granted.

    AW and the players are human, just like the rest of us, but many fans have way too little foresight or knowledge to pass the myriad of snap judgements we continually see like the ones expressed this article and many of the comments.

    Take the latest drive for Schezny to be given a go.

    All based on some reports (not particularly glowing, but good) from his loan club (who are not exactly UCL contenders), and his own “confidence”.

    He might be superb for all I know, but I wouldn’t make that call based on the very little knowledge I have on him right now.

    However, I’d wager it’s not any less than the knowledge in the possesion of many headless chickens clamouring for his immediate inclusion.

    Do I think AW isn’t the best judge of keepers?

    Actually, yes I do think it’s not his strongest point, but I don’t claim to know much more than he does on that score, so we’ll have to wait and see.

    Slagging off our current incumbents and touting a complete unknown is hardly contributing positively to the current situation.

    Fans who are suffering from the delusion that they know better and are trying to “force” AW to do what they think is the solution are in need of serious help.

    Another issue that really bothers me is a worrying trend that started with Eboue.

    As soon as a young English or British youngster starts knocking on the door, there is a plethora of bile and invective aimed at whatever player is deemed to be “in his way”.

    Eboue/Walcott was stupid and horrific to watch.

    We’re now seeing the emergence of a similar saga with Clichy/Gibbs.

    We are also getting a hint of Song/Denilson/Diaby/Wilshere.

    I can also see the seeds of something with Lansbury appearing, and no doubt if Frimpong had been available we would also be seeing something there.

    Fans need to look in the mirror and be honest with themselves before taking out their own bigotted tendencies on our team.

  76. Big Raddy says:

    Mike SA.

    You make some good points.

    However …

    You haven’t read the post or the following comments in the spirit they were written. Very few suggesting that Song is anything but a fine player and prospect, what is being discussed is his position on the pitch and why in the absence of Cesc he is playing such an attacking role.

    I can only assume you have mixed Arsenal Arsenal up with another site. There has been no clamour for Chesney, rather a forthright discussion about AW’s non-purchase of a GK. Though it is clear Chesney needs to play a game or two before he walks next summer on a free transfer, and in those games he will get the opportunity to show AW he is ready to be our No1.

    Finally, to suggest that anyone on this site bases their opinion of a player on bigotry is complete nonsense and downright insulting.

    I recommend it is you who look in the mirror and question why you are the only person EVER to come onto this multi-racial, international site and make such a suggestion.

  77. Rasp says:

    Hi Mike SA,

    Thanks for the long and considered comment, I only wish you’d spent as much time reading the comments of others during the day and trying to understand the ethos of the site.

    If you want to rant about Arsenal blogsites in general then that is fine, but to aim those comments at the supporters who inhabit AA is misguided.

    I share your dislike for ‘fans’ who demonise players and slag of the manager/club etc, but I also dislike those ‘thought police’ who condemn without reading and understanding, and try to restrict healthy debate on subjects that concern supporters. To be afraid of allowing others to express a contrary view shows a lack of confidence in one’s own standpoint.

    Having said all that, I think you are an ‘AA-type’ writer and I would welcome any article you would care to submit to be published on here. We have several bloggers from different parts of Africa visiting the site and you are most welcome.

  78. Big Raddy says:

    Rasp. Thought of career in Mediation ? :-)

  79. SharkeySure says:

    Mike thats a fantastic read.

    Rasp, Radders, respectfully, I do not believe that the whole of Mike’s post is in direct response to the article.

    The comments about Eboue and Chesney made that very clear to me. I mysef have been guilty of not segmenting the blogosphere if you like. We all know that there is a lot of ‘evidence out there’ to support what Mike alleges, and if ther was any fault on his part, it wasn’t to make it clearer that he did not mean to imply that any of those things happened here at AA squared.

    I say that as someone who has occasionally made the same mistake, ie read something elsewhere and complained about it here. It happens.

    For me, I expect to discuss our club here …and that is players, management (including Pat Rice!) and our ‘fans’. Its not good to say ‘this blog said, that blog said’ etc, but if there’s a growing train of thought in the blogosphere, then I think it’s fair to comment on it here.

  80. Morning all

    Theres a NEW POST

  81. Alex says:

    Actually it makes sense. It was against teams to are basically going to try to kick the attacking mid off the pitch. It’s one thing to kick around Nasri – he’s brilliant but he’s little. Hitting Song is more like running into a brick wall. I don’t think he’ll live up there but it seems to unsettle teams that want to play a physical game.

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